Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ugliest dog ever?

I've been to the zoo in Chapultepec Park with my nephew a couple of times. It's free, it's got lions and tigers and elephants and camels and penguins, not to mention they just had an exhibit of deadly poisonous snakes and frogs - I mean, what's not to like? The Mexican zoo also has a selection of animals native to this country, including my favorite - XOLOITZCUINTLE - THE ANCIENT AZTEC HAIRLESS DOG!!!! AKA ONE OF THE, IF NOT THE MOST, UGLY DOG ON THE PLANET EARTH!!! As you might notice from the picture, the Xoloitzcuintle´s most notable characteristic is that it's hairless. And like other extraordinarily ugly animals or people, it provokes a kind of response like "It hurts to look...but yet I can't. tear. my. eyes. away!!"
Here's some fun facts courtesy of The Washington Post:
- Near extinction in the 1940s, there are now about 5,000 "Xolos" out there.
- They can sell for up to $2,500.
- Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo had one.
- "They were considered sacred by the Aztecs, who sometimes ate their meat as a cure-all for illness or buried the dogs with their owners to help guide the human spirit to the afterlife."
- And the up side of ugly? Xolos are popular with asthmatics who can´t do fur.

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